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1. To happen or materialize. This great job offer came about very quickly—I only interviewed for it a few days ago! I didn't realize that you were dating John. How did that come about?
2. To change the direction in which a ship is traveling. We need to come about because it seems we've gone off-course.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
1. to happen. How did this damage come about? This came about due to the windstorm.
2. [for a ship or boat] to turn. Look how easily this boat comes about. Now, practice making the boat come about.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. Also, come to pass. Happen, take place, as in How did this quarrel come about? or When did this new development come to pass? Shakespeare used the first term, first recorded in 1315, in Hamlet (5:2): "How these things came about." The variant, dating from the late 1400s, appears often in the Bible, as in, "And it came to pass ... that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus" (Luke 2:1).
2. Also, go about. In sailing, to change tack (direction), as in It's important to duck under the boom when we come about. [Mid-1500s]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1. To happen; come to pass: It came about that John and Mary got married and had three children.
2. To change tack. Used of sailing vessels: We were about to come about when the wind suddenly died down.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.